Archiving Longitudinal Data for Future Research. Why Qualitative Data Add to a Study's Usefulness
In this paper we discuss the special challenges that data archives face when archiving and preparing for new research longitudinal studies with a large qualitative component. We discuss issues of confidentiality, how best to organize longitudinal data for future use, including ways in which to permit future follow-ups without compromising confidentiality, and ways to teach investigators how to plan for the archiving of their longitudinal research. The core of the paper, however, is an examination of the strengths that qualitative data lend to longitudinal studies for future researchers. Our main argument is that qualitative data to a much greater extent permit new investigators to look at the data in new ways than do quantitative data. We present examples of this based on re-analyses of data archived at the Murray Research Center.
archival data; longitudinal data; qualitative data; secondary analysis